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charles brough

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Posts posted by charles brough

  1. I would say that the fear being felt isn't overt, and that's why it's so insidious. It's the kind of fear that stops you from speaking out against injustice or oppression. The kind of fear that keeps you from rocking the boat. The kind of fear that makes you despair of things getting better, so you settle for a meager status quo.


    And make no mistake, all it would take to bring it all back into focus is another attack. The knee-jerk reaction to an explosion on Main Street would probably be intense. Fifteen years ago the majority assumption would most likely have been "gas leak", but now it would most likely be "bomb". When explosions do happen these days, authorities are quick to report they've ruled out a purposeful attack, and that's usually the first question the reporters ask, and the first question we all want answered. That's fear, imo.

    Yes. I agree but why have we been so fearful? Every year some 65,000 Americans die because they got into their car, but the public has been terrorized by the death of a mere 3,000 in New York. Why do many more veterans kill themselves than have been killed by the enemy? Why are seemingly normal men going berserk and setting out to kill as many people as possible? This is not the America of WWI and WWII. It would seem that the level of stress has risen. That may explain why such problems now plague us.
  2. I have prefect wrong way direction sense. I am sure if I kept a record of when I turn the wrong way, it would be at least 90 percent of the time, and I vaguely remember hearing of man with this condition. Like if I am not sure which to turn, I feel pulled to turn the wrong way so often, I am really surprised if it turns out to be right way. I try to out guess myself, knowing I have this problem, but usually end up going the wrong way. And is a sense of being pulled in the wrong direction.


    One of my female friends drove a bus. She had a map of the city in her head, and a medical problem temporarily prevented her from accessing the map in her head.


    Sun down syndrome is a condition that makes it impossible for a person to get directions right after sun down. I once drove in circles for 6 hours, and when the sun came up, I found my way to where I was going. It was the strangest thing. After that, I do not drive at night unless I am sure of the path and it is a simple one.

    I had a normal male directional sense up until I began feeling my age. I could orient a town according to the points on a compass and always knew about where I was. In later years, however, One part of town seems completely wrong to the compass and to me even if that part is only a few blocks from where I live. There is one intersection where for years I know I have to turn right to get home but it always seems to me that home is to the left. The directional sense can be corrupted by age . . .
  3. I don't think that a slide to that level would be tolerated, because we have a system in place that would fight it.


    If you think things are getting worse, you should read up on history. I've been reading about the events leading up to prohibition, and corruption 100 years ago was arguably worse than it is now. Disseminating information is so much faster and easier these days, so it's harder for things to stay hidden.

    It would seem that we all agree that corruption is more serious than it would seem from the Index, but not as bad that you have to pay bribes to get a drivers-license, tip your kid's teacher or pay to get at the head of the line.


    However, I wonder of you can imagine what it would be like if we had a hyper-inflation and the government imposed wage and price controls on everthing . . .(!)

  4. People are afraid to fly - they are afraid of tiny bottle of liquid they might miss that could cause them a huge delay or the pair of rogue clippers that could get them chastised by the TSA. No one I know thinks terrorists are scary, just the people "protecting" us from them.


    I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree about the civil liberties issue then, I've never felt that knowing someone personally was a prerequisite for being concerned with their civil rights. We march John Wayne Gacy and Charles Manson through the legal system without giving into the fears that civilized law may be too soft for such monsters, I think we can address due process for enemy combatants sometime before the end of hostilities in the War on Terror. Unless that's too scary, of course.

    Yes the public is afraid, but ZAPATOS is correct in that we don't feel it. It is not the same as we would feel when opening a gate that says "Beware of Dog." It is more like the "fear of being sued" if you don't get liability insurance. The fear the people in the West, and especially the US, feel is measured in how far we have to go to feel safe. Yes, we do not fear flying, but we sure would if all our airports security system was dropped by a long labor strike. That is why we are justified in calling what the US public feels as "fear."


    But why do we go to extreme and self-destruction measures to protect ourselves? There is more than fear involved. The fear is just one expression of the immense stress being felt by the public. This growing stress-burden is the hidden cause of the breakdown of health and, hence, the immense cost of medical care in the US. It also explains why people become addicted to anything that lets them escape from it for a while---such as narcotics, gambling, pornography, individuals collecting "stuff" until they have no room to walk around in their own house. It has a lot to do with amount of crime and the size of our prison population, and why far more of our veterans kill themselves than are killed by the enemy.


    Why all the stress? It would take a book to really explain that---which is what I've tried to do in my webpage. . .

  5. I have long noticed that when I drive, I have a sense of what is parallel to the other ways to get to my objective. I base when I turn on that sense. However, I also note that my wife instead uses landmarks to know when to turn. I have also seen that this characteristic has been researched and documented.


    One explanation is that since we evolved through millions of years of evolution in hunting-gathering groups, the men, as hunters, for some reason depended upon this directional sense more than did the women doing the gathering. It is also of note that when a man gets old, he can lose that directional sense completely. When he does, he is ashamed to admit it and resist having to ask for direction from someone. He is left without an important tool as he lacks the amazing ability of the women to use landmarks for directions.


    It is not necessary for us to view migrating animals with quite such wonderment. We have it also . . .

  6. Exactly. Your opening post kinda suggested you were stuck in such a "ideological confinement", and that you regarded your truth as the only truth (even though you referred to the Wall Street Journal as your source, indicating it was not your own opinion). I see I was mistaken in my interpretation of your opening post. The bit I quoted from you also explains why I think we cannot answer the question you asked in the opening post. Without a clear doctrine, without a reference point of who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys, we cannot even define who are the terrorists

    You raise a good point. But if we see the "good guy" only as our friend and the "bad guy" as our opponent, it can hardly be science. This being a science forum, I felt free to try presenting a more objective picture of the world---not just the usual subjective one framed by our secular beliefs, the one in which we are necessarily the "good guys."


    If we do believe that science is for the whole world, not just for the West, social theory needs to be objective---even if unpopulr with us. I think that the deteriorating world conditions are cause for enough concern to justify searching now for a realistic explanation of what is going on.


    I'm not so sure that terrorists are as effective in fighting the West as we fear or they claim. On an equal basis an al Qaida fighter is no better than a Western fighter but technology tips the scales very far in the favor of the West. All these terrorist organizations really do in strike fear into the hearts of civilians but if they do enough damage they would face the real wrath of western nations and Shock and Awe was only a tiny fraction of what the West is capable of. I think they are doomed to always being a tiny fraction of the worlds problems but they do create a lot of noise and the squeaky wheel gets the grease or possibly the unchained wrath of the west... Here is a rather inflammatory, but accurate, video from thunderfoot that describes the inequity between the West and terrorists... http://www.youtube.c...h?v=hGrvjKXi5RE

    You really don't need youtube to prove that. Who in his right mind thinks they have even 1/50th of our military power? But what everyone overlooks is that that is not the way now to judge who is the victor. The way I see it, they are winning because their puny little efforts have struck such fear, even terror, in our whole civilization that it is the major media focus and the overwhelming reason why we are spending trillions of dollars of our declining wealth in our effort to contain them. It is slowly destroying us from within.
  7. A link would have been helpful.


    from http://cpi.transpare...tail/#myAnchor1



    Remember that publicly-elected positions are a small part of the government, even if they are the most visible, and while they write the laws and ordinances and authorize spending, they aren't necessarily the ones who actually handle the money. So there are lot of people who could potentially be getting kickbacks or have their hand in the till, and you could have governments who turn a blind eye toward it. Bribing can be as mundane as a local clerk requiring some money to do their job, like having to fork over an extra $20 to get your driver's license (does that happen in the US? Would we stand for it?), or to process some permit and not have the paperwork get "lost". It's a building or health inspector accepting money and not reporting violations they see. It's a clerk leaking documents so that a company can get the low bid on a contract, or finding ways to not have to open a contract up to competitive bidding in exchange for a kickback. It's writing phantom orders on someone's budget, faking the receipts and pocketing the cash.


    It's whether the system tolerates such things or actively prosecutes offenders when it can.

    Yes, we have not sunk to that level! Is that next? We the people could be led to it by the way big business and government lead the way. Once this becomes the way the whole economy functions, it is extremely hard to change, to root out. This slid into ever more corruption was not at all apparent a half century ago. There seems to be a trend underway and the outlook is disturbing. What is causing it?
  8. I would be surprised if someone at the CIA would have a list of Al Qaida suspects. They may have a couple hundred... but nowhere near enough to validate the scale of operations of the last decade. Why is that? Because there is no global Al Qaida network. Al Qaida operates in the poorest countries on this planet. They lack all necessary resources to have any cooperation outside even their own region.


    So, will Al Qaida fail? I cannot answer that, because there never was such a thing.

    [edit: added a few more sentences]

    Why go so far as that? There certainly exist groups of dedicated Muslims willing to die to kill Westerners, and all the groups feel a common bond of admiration for the al Qaida success in 9/11. I propose that the reason we both do, anyway, minimize it is that we both recognize that the effect it has is ius is all out of proportion to its ability to harm us.


    In other words, it has succeeded in instilling in the West and expecially the Us a sense of terror, of great fear. What are the chance of any of us being killed by another attack after 9/11? Nil, of course. Had we been calm, then ended the immense coverage of the whole thing, gone on to other things and shown ourselves to be fearless and not alarmed by them, we would have saved ourselves trillions of dollars of our national wealth. But we had no confidence in our government to handle it. We filled up with fear and demanded a response that showed how powerful we thought we were. And that fear remains and erodes our already weakening society. Our system is too weak for us to feel brave. We think our home or where we work might be destroyed next and our lives ended. In the end, it is really possible that this flimsy little Muslim suicide bomb terrorist network could actually be the catalist that would finally bring down our whole civilization. (I discuss all this, also, in my webpage . . . )

  9. Regarding Iran PART I

    Iran is a democracy... in the 1st part of your post, you seem to claim that a democracy is like some ultimate goal, and a solution. Yet, in the second part, you suggest the US might start fighting against an existing democracy (Iran). And Iran seems to be a functioning democracy too: For example, Ahmadinejad (that guy who wants to destroy Israel) lost the last elections. Certainly, it's not a perfect democracy. In the background, their religious leader pulls the strings, and there is a limited choice. But then again, the USA is no perfect democracy either: third party candidates do not stand a chance, and there is always the same limited choice too. So, Iran is already a democracy. What more do you want?


    And as far as I know, there is no proven link between Iran's government and Al Qaida. Certainly, Iran might see Al Qaida as a possible ally (the enemy of one's enemy is one's friend). But I guess they wouldn't call them terrorists, just like the Taliban guys were called Mujahideen in Rambo III. In those days, the "terrorists" were fighting the Soviets, so they were called "freedom fighters". They were the same people you are fighting now in Afghanistan (only one generation later). But once again, I haven't seen any convincing proof that Iran is related to Al Qaida at all.


    On a sidenote, I don't think Ahmadinejad is more fundamentalist than Santorum. The one wants to destroy Israel, the other wants to destroy Iran. Both are fundamentalist religious people. You Americans might want to clean up your own fundamentalist backyard first before starting another war overseas. Sorry if that's flaming... I tried to keep it as objective as possible. It might come as a shock to see a US presidential candidate compared to what some Americans might consider their #1 enemy.

    I agree with what you say about Sentorum---also that Iran is not a terrorist state (its Shiite, not Sunni). Moreover, Ahmadinejad never said they would destroy Israel. That was only a brutal translation of the intent to enforce "the right of return" which would enable the millions of Palestinian refugess from Israel to return and thus out vote the Judaic "theocracy" and install a "democracy."


    I've given up trying to define "democracy" other than being the most glorified ideal of our secular ideological system. Myself, I would define the Iranian political system as a theocratic republic. What we have is a Constitutional-Congressional system.


    What seems hard to get across is that "democracy," "equality," "humanism," "tolerance" etc. are ideals (doctrines). They comprise a secular ideology which provides the framework within which we think. It is natural to resist such a realization because all believers of ideological systems are determined to see theirs as "the Truth."


    However, if we don't begin to escape from that ideological confinement, we can never really understand what is going on in the world and what danger faces our whole civilization. (This is a subject I like and have written three books on it . . .)

  10. How do we comare with other nations in corruption? According the highly controversial Corruption Index, we are 7-8 in a 1-10 scale with 10 being the least corrupt.


    It seems to me that we in the US deceive the system by making corruption legal. In many countries, you bribe to get what you want, but here it is called "campaign contributions," "lobbying," and "deceptive advertising." The corporate world and its lawyer-lobbyists legislate loop-whole laden laws so immorality can become legal.

  11. Charles, did you compare journal articles of cultural anthropology (behavioral studies of people) to those of animals? And are words different?

    Or do you compare journal articles about animals to popular language in the pub?

    Examples of what I meant are: . . .


    Gender dimorphism is applied to animals and in anthropology to hominids but rather well avoided in reference to humans in the rest of the social sciences. Most primates are described as polygamous or polygynous, but sociologists, historians, and social theorists prefer to avoid doing that and to infer we are a monogamous species. They want to avoid involving the role of monogamous religions in creating monogamous societies. That we are a territorial animal is avoided in all the social sciences. Also, that we evolved through millions of years as small-group primates is avoided because it would open the way to recognizing the role of ideological systems in binding us into larger groups. Social scientists use the word "altruism" for the effort to achieve group status inherent in the male competition for dominance. They also like to avoid the word "instinct" and prefer "genes," "hormones" and even (imagine it!) "hard wired." (And of course we know our instincts are conditioned or modified by "society." That is not an intelligent excuse.) Also, when you watch the TV news and all the politicians are on giving speeches it has not been referred to in the social sciences as "seeking cues from the dominant male."


    Believe me, I could go on, but that surely provides enough to illustrate my point. I am sure that, since I am not a presitigous degree bearing academic professional, there is plenty of quibble points that can be made with some of it but . . not most of it.

  12. I would say "no" to both questions in the title. "Doomed to failure" is a foregone conclusion and I can't agree with that. And I don't think the War on Terror is winnable the way we're prosecuting it. Our overall strategy seems to create MORE terrorists rather than fewer.

    is subjective. The War on Terror has been the most economically effective war to date for arms dealers.

    Yes, "doomed to fail" is a prediction based upon how one interprets past and present events and not foregone.

    A likey goal of the Muslim Sunni militancy (al Qaeda) is the decline and fall of our civilization. That could happen . . .

  13. Oh, I know women do not "present" as do other primates, but psychology researchers have discovered that women in estrus are more attraced to more "sexy" men and are more apt to wear red (which also is more stimulating to men).


    Also, men do not go through "rut," but to women they "have inflated egos" and compete for "success" (wealth) and hence status. Young women seek out men with status.


    After that, what human social behavior is not equally instinctive to other primates? Are we really monogamous creatures? Could it be that we love to watch sports teams only because they represent the male hunting team or war party to a species that evolved as hunter/gatherers through millions of years of evolution?

  14. The "Arab Spring" indicates that Muslims are seeking democracy, according to an editorial this month in the Wall Street Journal. The claim is also made that our wealth of intelligence and the drone attacks all insure that the militant's dream of destroying the West is doomed to fail.


    But is that really what the "Arab Spring" is doing---or is it that Islam has been overthrowing secular regimes and replacing them with regimes that are either corrupt, weak or both? Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Egypt were all secular. The Islamic, non secular regimes in the Near East are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, and what we have waged war against for ten years in Afghanistan (with questionable results). We've spent over a trillion dollars on our wars with Islam, and we could easily end up with another one with Iran. Perhaps the al Qaida network expects us to spend ourselves to ruin. . . .



  15. It really depends on how broadly or narrowly you define religion. It can mean many things to many people, and is a tough term to define precisely. Usually, of course, we're referring to one of the world's major religions, generally Abrahamic.

    Yes, it is understood in inconsistent ways, a truly sloppily defined term. Yet it is used in the social "sciences" and social theory. Actually, social theorists are motivated to keep it so poorly defined because you cannot define it accurately, without offending the faithful.


    I define it as "old world-view belief systems" in the glossary to my book because all of humanity does and has had world-view belief systems because they are essential to us so we can achieve enough unity of thought to feel a sense of community and be able to cooperate to solve common problems. Even our secular beliefs, "Secular Humanism," is an ideology.


    It is just that world-view systems grow too old in time as human thought improves. The old ones have had to be replaced now and again in the long course of human events. Our problems now stem from the fact that neither the Marxist nor our secular ideological systems are advanced, accurate, effective enough to do it. We need something better. . .

  16. & the tree of life is again in the holy book of revelation as i quote

    Yes, but you neglected to show it. It is in Rev. 22:2. Personally, I never read all of Revelations because it hides its intended meaning behind symbolic terms and cannot be taken literally. For example, can you tell me what "the beast" is? Why does it use the term for a wild animal? What can be so important about what one single animal has done or will do that it needs to be in scripture for 2,000 years? Is it supposed to represent Ancient Rome, Emperor Nero, Soddam and Gonnorha, or Satan? How can we take "God's Word" as the literal "Truth" if He doesn't say what He really means?


    I think we need a better "religion" and should be thinking about what it needs to be like . . .

  17. Charles: you are talking about another tree, mentioned in Genesis 2.17; the one that God lied about, as eating from it did not cause the sure death of Adam as promised; but not subject of this thread.

    No, not by the Bible I have here. I refer to Genesis 2:9 and it mentions "the tree of life." It seems logical to me that "the tree of life" in 3:22 is supposed to be the same thing.

  18. Hi all.

    Is there in the world a nation, tribe, ethnicity... with no content of religion in their beliefs/activities ? No scriptures, commandments, rites... ?

    No and there never has been since we learned language and became able to speak well over 100,000 years ago. People have to have common beliefs so they can better feel a sense of community and can cooperate to solve common problems. That is the problem we have now in the world. Our big ideological systems (religions) are so old and splintered into "isms" and sects that we haven't enough unity to agree on how to solve our common world (and even national) problems.

  19. This is a really good question because it brings up a fascinating subject.


    It is popularly known from the Bible as the tree that Eve picked the fruit from to give Adam. The snake represents the old Mother Goddess. In the Biblical version, an angry father God banishes them from the Mother Goddess of fertility and changes everything. He becomes the supreme God and She is replaced in the major world religious systems.


    What is most amazing is that the picture of the tree and of the snake can be found in the earliest Chinese script and in among the carvings of the hunting people some 12,000 years ago just North of the Fertile Crescent in Turkey. There is a picture of that carving on page 26 in the Nov.-Dec 2008 issue of Archeology.

  20. No, but what does matter to me is that if a person makes an assertion that they be prepared to back it up, or not make it in the first place. Dancing around a request for evidence is unseemly. dry.gif

    Well, it isn't clear to me what you are unaware of and wish me to provide a URL for. Is it that the individual is inclined to feel more thoughtful concern over a group of our miners trapped by a cave-in than the news that hundreds of thousands of Africans are drifting towards starvation in the Seringetti ... or that we are evolved small-group territorial primates that will send out primarily male war parties when our territory, women and children are threatened? Do you need evidence that these human characteristics evolved together and that neither began before the other? If the problem stems from offending spiritual sensibilities, I won't press the matter any further . . .
  21. Ok, so no recent changes. That sounds reasonable. Although how long ago did Homo Sapiens emerge?

    I am not sure why you are telling me about monogamy and the marital system.

    You said, "Yes, we evolved in small groups so we are unable to really show much compassion and concern for those who are outside of what we regard as our group."

    My question is, how do you know that evolving in small groups caused us to have the inability to show much compassion for those outside our group?

    Perhpas it is the other way around. Perhaps we started with an inability to show much compassion beyond a limited number of people, and therefore we only formed small groups.

    Perhaps the limited compassion started well before humans evolved.

    The anthropiological consensus seems to be that it was something a bit less than 200,000 years ago, but due to the development of some new ability, it was not until about 40,000 years ago that we really began to grow in number and develop technological skills.

    Regarding compassion, there is no benefit and hence no evolutionary reason for people to feel compassion for others outside of their GROUP. What we humans have managed is to acquire speech and use it to build ideologies in common that bind us into larger, ideology-unity groups. Eventually, social evolution brought us to the point where we these GROUPS became nations, even civilizations.


    But then, when the ideologies divided, people gradually lose that sense of community and allegence. Stress builds up and people have more trouble cooperating; crime also increases. Nations fight for resources, corruption grows, etc. etc.

  22. It's been shown that senseless creatures like insects are espeically prone to overpopulation, where as mammals do slightly better. They observe and notice when population start to get high and adjust their behaviour or living style.

    Yes, but we are not doing it. This is a good reference: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=232512&page=5


    Here's the politically incorrect answer:

    Some races of humans (controversially considered sub-species by some biologists) are subject to the phenomena of over-population, while others are not. Whether the reasons are more sociological or genetic is debatable.


    Let us take a little look at the USA...



    Meanwhile, the european white population is actually declining.

    (this has not prevented the government from counting other non-european ethnicities as "white" so as not to sound any alarms)


    Could humans potentially make a conscious decission to control the population growth? Yes.

    But there do not appear to be any democratic governments willing to make the difficult decissions, at least not now.

    But the longer we wait, the more difficult the necessary corrective action will become in the future.

    China is already tackling this important issue... http://www.pop.org/c...-china-new-1457

    I also pay no attention to what is "politically correct." But the blacks had advanced civilizations adjacent to that of Ancient Egypt and in Timbucto and the Semitic (now Muslim) races that now have too many children were the most advanced civilization on Earth about 1200 A.D. The "Mexicans" had an advanced civilization about that same time. We were in the Dark Ages while they prospered. In other words, it is not genetic. As you indicate, it is sociological.


    The condition of a people's ideological system accounts for the condition of their society. It is "poitically incorrect" to refer to religions as binding people into societies and, hence, determining whether they progress or not, but ideological systems do. It appears races are unequal because the condition of the religion of society determines the quality of their civilization.


    In other words, the reason we are not in control of the situation is that our secular belief system is no longer adequate to unite the world and solve its growing problems. We need a belief system able to replace the other religions and "isms", one that focusses us on controlling our numbers, limiting waste and over-use of our resoures, and promotes the colonizing of space.


    My question is, how do you know that evolving in small groups caused us to have the inability to show much compassion for those outside our group? Perhpas it is the other way around. Perhaps we started with an inability to show much compassion beyond a limited number of people, and therefore we only formed small groups. Perhaps the limited compassion started well before humans evolved.


    That is a "which-came-first, the chicken-or-the egg" question! Does it really matter to you if one came a little before the other? :blink:

  23. Ok, so no recent changes. That sounds reasonable. Although how long ago did Homo Sapiens emerge?



    I am not sure why you are telling me about monogamy and the marital system.


    You said, "Yes, we evolved in small groups so we are unable to really show much compassion and concern for those who are outside of what we regard as our group."


    My question is, how do you know that evolving in small groups caused us to have the inability to show much compassion for those outside our group?


    Perhpas it is the other way around. Perhaps we started with an inability to show much compassion beyond a limited number of people, and therefore we only formed small groups.


    Perhaps the limited compassion started well before humans evolved.

    I am stunned to see that I had that we emerged 2,000 years ago. I meant to put down 200,000 years ago; that is the correct figure !!:huh:

  24. How can you possibly know this? Perhaps the way we can relate to smaller groups of people is what drove us to the group size we lived with, and not the other way around. Given that there is so little data about interactions between groups in our distant past it may have been that we interacted in much larger groups, but only lived in smaller groups. Perhaps our level of compassion and concern has absolutely nothing at all to do with group sizes in our past.

    Considering that we, as humans, Homo Sapiens, emerged some two thousand years ago and have remained anatomically and physiologically much the same ever since, I think it would be reckless to think our social-group behavioral repertoire (social instincts) have undergone any change during that time.


    If you assume it has, then you are hit with the over-whelming problem of finding out how, when, etc. If you assume it is the same, we can find every modern human social feeling and behavior just as it is in other primates and most mammals. And the fact that the marital system tends to break down late in every past civilization shows that we are still polygamous and impose monogamy only because societies function best when it is imposed by maritial belief systems.

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